[not] alone


If you know me, you know I try to be considerate of everyone I meet. If you really know me, you know I try to find beauty and joy in each day.

And if you really, really know me, you know I get nervous around people I don’t know, anxious with confrontation, and that I struggle with my own sense of self-worth. As in, really struggle. That there are more days than I’d like to admit when I wonder what my purpose is for being here.

I’ve been working on opening up more about this, on putting a name to the shadow as a means of identifying it as just that – a shadow that can be banished by the light.

In admitting my own fears, what I’ve found is that there are so many of us out there. So many of us who are uncertain, and maybe a little scared, and maybe a little sad, and fighting demons of loneliness and self-doubt.

In fact, based on the responses I’ve had, I’d venture to say that it may even be a large percentage of us.

By opening up about my own uncertainties, other people have felt more comfortable talking about theirs.

And guess what?

There are lots of us.

Which means two things.

First, there is something wrong with the messages we, as a society, give to each other about vulnerability and sadness.

We’re not “supposed to” be scared or lonely or anxious; we’re “supposed to” be tough, and smart, and happy, and self-confident, and completely comfortable both in a crowd and being alone – and so we all cover up our “weaknesses.” Which only compounds the impression of being the only one struggling with these thoughts and emotions.

Second, that we are not alone. So many of our friends and loved ones often feel the same way, but we’re all hiding it, trying to be tough.

Often, people say that the hardest thing is feeling so alone, like there is no one out there who feels the way they do, who understands what they are going through. But so many of us feel that way.

Your “alone” might feel different than my “alone,” but for both of us, it can be soul-wrenchingly aching, bone-deep painful, and sometimes creates a curtain of bleakness that shrouds the view of the future. It can make it extremely difficult to look forward to the coming days.

But it’s lying.

There is hope in the future.

There is light in your life.

There is joy yet to be had.

I saw a challenge in which a person identifies one word to focus on, one word to try to live for this year. If there is a word that resonates with you, that helps you meet the challenge of another day, I encourage you to focus on that. Let it become your mantra. Let it be your reminder, when things get hard, that you are not alone, that you are stronger, and that you will make it through. Post it on your bathroom mirror and on your car visor and on whatever you look at at work. Flood your environment with it to continually lift you.

If there is not a word that helps you, I invite you to share the word I’ve chosen:


Believe in your own worth.

Believe in the beauty of your unique soul.

Believe in the unfathomable greatness of your heart.

Believe in the very real magic and value of your presence.

Believe in the brilliant light that is your future.

Believe that you are never alone, no matter what the shadows might try to tell you.

And believe that you, one-and-only, amazing you – believe that you have a purpose and a reason for being here.

May you have a beautiful and blessed 2018.

-KJ Roe




This Is Why

Autumn lake – PC KJ Roe

Dear Friends and Family who have been subjected to the mess that is my car,

This is why. Why there is always a stash of life vests, and paddles, and extra clothes, and fishing gear, or winter gear, and snow shoes, and extra gloves, and sleeping bags. Why there’s always a book bag of notebooks, pens, pencils, and books.

Because, after a stressful day at work, I can be here. Here, floating between earth and sky, skimming along the tops of reflected clouds, nature’s quiet voice a balm to my mind. Here, separated briefly from daily cares, surrounded by reminders of the quietness of creation. Here, where the immensity of this beauty puts perspective to the smallness of my problems.

This is why, when you see me post pictures or hear me talk about my weekend, you rarely hear about me cleaning and doing chores. They happen (perhaps a bit less often than they “should”), but they are not priority.

You see, I’ve lost enough to know better. I’ve lost enough people in my life to know you don’t take loved ones for granted. You don’t miss an opportunity to say I love you or to give a kiss or a hug.

I’ve seen enough ugliness and hatefulness to appreciate every bit of beauty I can find.

And I’ve lived through just enough heartache to know that you must seek peace, and hold it when you find it.

None of it is guaranteed. Life is time-limited. Relationships, experiences, and adventures are limited by that time. So, given a sunny day, a good snowfall, a few moments with someone I care about, I hope I always choose to live in the moment. I hope I choose beauty.

I hope I live up to life.

-KJ Roe




Conversing with the person across the table, laughing, smiling. Sharing these moments that I know are all too fleeting. Feeling the joy glowing inside each breath, the happiness of enjoying this gift of time. Hoping that it lasts, hoping that there are thousands more days like this, and wishing there was no end to our shared companionship.

But I know time is finite. I know you are growing and changing, moving towards the path you will take. These sparkling moments are too few for me, as you stretch impatiently towards adulthood and independence. I watch the glow in your eyes, the curve of your smile, and see all at once the baby you were and the hint of the woman you will become. I hold it close inside, storing up the memories for when you join your siblings out in the world. I cherish the times you let me into your world, chattering away about friends and art and videos and games I only partially understand.

This life is too short for me. Too soon, you will be on your own, making your way with your own special style, and I will be relegated to cheering section and occasional life consultant. You will be taking your own path, full of the adventure and creativity that fills your soul.

I know time has a limit, like this earth we stand on. I know the excitement of seeing you “become” is lined with bittersweet. But my hopes and my love for you are as unlimited as the universe. And I know that, like the stars, you will shine.

-KJ Roe

Le Cafe


All alone
As she sits in the corner
Steam rising from a cup
Like the
Conversations swirling through the air,
Weaving around and past
Invisible fences,
Marking the spaces
That don’t fit
And the holes unfilled.
Music lifts with gentle caress,
Notes of friendship
And melodies of memories
Soothing storms hidden;
Invisible worlds and tidepool dreams,
Reveries of ethereal visions
Ephemeral shadows behind her eyes,
Like the
Steam rising from a cup
As she sits in the corner
All alone.

-KJ Roe